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13 Things Plastic Surgeons Won’t Tell You

Plastic surgery before and after photos may be alluring, but before you consider going under the knife, here are the secrets you need to know.

Young woman receiving plastic surgery injection on her face, closeupAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

I had a patient who wanted a brow lift because she thought she looked grumpy all the time

I sent her for a brow wax instead. It took 15 minutes, she looked great, and she saved herself $5,000. I’ve also seen patients get results similar to eyelid lifts with over-the-counter firming serums and eyelid-lift creams. The results are temporary, but they do work to reduce lines and puffiness. Don’t miss these weird plastic surgery procedures you had no idea existed.

Young boy with injured forehead. Wound curing treatmentIvana P. Nikolic/Shutterstock

It drives me crazy when parents call from the emergency room because their kid got a scratch on his face

It’s not going to look any different if I sew it up instead of the ER doctor; it’s probably just going to cost you a lot more money. Unless the injury is severe, you don’t need a plastic surgeon for every cut and scrape.

Bikini Laser epilation and cosmetology. Hair removal cosmetology procedure. Laser epilation and cosmetology. Cosmetology and SPA concept.Max4e Photo/Shutterstock

If I’ve invested $200,000 to buy a laser machine, that’s probably what I’m going to recommend, even though another type of treatment may be cheaper

Make sure you ask if there is an alternative, such as a chemical peel, that might work just as well or better.

These are the most in-demand cosmetic treatments across the country.

Tropical land leech (Haemadipsa crenata) sucking some blood from the skin. Haemadipsa crenata : The beautiful new species (2007) of Land leeches (Bloodsucker) from tropical forest , Southeast Asia .IamTK/Shutterstock

We have a secret weapon we can use when things go wrong: leeches

By restoring blood flow and secreting a chemical that prevents blood clots, leeches can help salvage a breast lift gone bad or a reattached finger that’s about to die. It sounds gross, but reconstructive plastic surgeons use them routinely.

Plastic Surgery Operation. Closeup Beautiful Young Woman Face With Fresh Skin And Perfect Makeup On White Background. Female Face With Black Surgical Lines On Eyelids. High Resolutionpuhhha/Shutterstock

If your drooping eyelids are partially blocking your vision, your insurance may pay for a lid lift

So many patients have used Medicare to pick up the tab for the procedure that it’s caused controversy.

Here is everything you need to know about liposuction.

Two senior healthcare workers in consultation laughingMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

We do laugh at you sometimes

I had a patient who emailed me to ask if it was OK for her to cook for her family again. She wanted to make sure her breast implants wouldn’t melt. I also had a guy come in with his wife and his girlfriend literally one week apart for the same breast implant operation.

Intent good plastic surgeon consulting his patient on liposuctionDmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

We judge celebrities too

We think the celebrities with the frozen faces, puffed-up lips, and gargantuan breast implants look ridiculous too.

Surgeon operating live shotgtfour/Shutterstock

How would I pick a plastic surgeon?

I’d look for a doctor who is certified to train other doctors. They are called “fellowship directors.”

You won’t believe how many plastic surgeons aren’t actually qualified.

Attractive woman with healthy skin applying sunscreen to shoulder wearing white sun hatAila Images/Shutterstock

Want to avoid my office?

Use sunblock with zinc or titanium dioxide, wear sunglasses outside, and don’t squint.

set of surgical instruments on white gauzeMilos Luzanin/Shutterstock

Before you judge us, remember that most of us do a lot more than just elective surgery

We correct cleft lips and cleft palates, perform delicate hand and face surgeries, and help reconstruct people who were burned, had a cancer operation, or suffered a catastrophic accident.

Syringe, medical injection in hand, palm or fingers. Medicine plastic vaccination equipment with needle. Nurse or doctor. Liquid drug or narcotic. Health care in hospital.funnyangel/Shutterstock

We may get a little Botox here or there, but most serious plastic surgeons haven’t had any plastic surgery themselves

That may be because it’s an egotistical profession, and the only person I would want operating on me is myself.

You have to see these amazing cosmetic transformations to believe them.

Close-up Of Doctor In Glove Giving Injection On Face Of Man In ClinicAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

One-fourth of our patients are men

They get liposuction, Botox, eyelid lifts, hair transplants, and more.

medicine, healthcare and technology concept - doctor showing tablet pc computer to patient at hospitalSyda Productions/Shutterstock

When you bring in your car to get fixed, you ask all sorts of questions

But a surprising number of people prepared to put their bodies under the knife don’t ask anything. Not one question.

Don’t miss the 12 plastic surgeries that insurance will cover.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest